What will my stoma be like?

What will my stoma be like?

What does an ostomy look like and feel like? Will it hurt? Will it smell? Where will it be on my body?

Stomas come in all different shapes and sizes, and normally protrude a little. Some people may have more than one stoma, depending on their condition.

SenSuraMio2 ostomy pouch

Where will my stoma be formed?

If you have a urostomy or an ileostomy the stoma is usually created on the right-hand side of your abdomen, while a colostomy is usually created on the left-hand side of your abdomen.

Be sure to discuss the exact location with your stoma care nurse, as it is important that the stoma is adjusted to your body and your life conditions if at all possible, not the other way around.

What will it look and feel like?

The stoma will be bright red and may be level with the abdomen, slightly below or protruding above it. The stoma does not have any sensitive nerves, so it shouldn’t feel sore. It will feel like the tissue on inside of the mouth when you touch it – soft and moist. The area around the ostomy may have dips, creases or folds.

Changes over time

Your body changes over time and it’s likely your stoma may also change. Exercise, as well as losing or gaining weight can influence the shape of your stoma, as well as the area around it.

Some people may also develop an outward bulge. The size of a bulge can vary from person to person. If you develop a bulge, you may need to use supporting products or a different type of appliance that is more suited to your body profile.  

If a bulge does appear, or you have doubts about the appearance of your stoma or the area around it, you should contact your ostomy care nurse.

Will it hurt?

The stoma can bleed a little when being cleaned, especially in the beginning, but this is quite normal, and should stop shortly afterwards. After surgery, your stoma will be swollen to begin with, but will reduce in size over some weeks.

Will it smell?

A good-fitting stoma pouch should not smell. You would only experience any odour if the pouch isn't fitting correctly.

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